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Cho'Gath Build Guide by Sevresth

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sevresth

I am sure that you taste errr.... play delightfully

Sevresth Last updated on October 28, 2012
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
7
9
12
Ability Key Q
2
5
8
10
13
Ability Key W
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 8

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 1


Guide Top

Introduction

Cho'Gath is a champion that can't help but dominate the map; if not through his sheer size than surely through his damage output.

My first build focuses on making an off-tank/tanky DPS mage, which really lets him open up on his damage potential without neglecting his natural tendency to become durable.

My second build is a pure tank build, which focuses on trading some offensive power for pure defensive might. This will let you be the main tank on the team capable of hard CC and engagements.


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Laning

Picking a Lane

Cho'Gath has the ability to play effectively in all 3 lanes:

Mid Lane: The large range on Rupture lets you take out targets from a distance, effectively giving you both a pester and a zoning ability while driving the enemy out of the lane. Carnivore gives you plenty of sustain for both your health and your mana. Finally, the current meta revolves around sending an AP based champion mid, which falls to your favor since you have both a silence and a knock-up in your repertoire, effectively turning you into a hard counter against these champions.

Solo Top: Tanky character, lots of damage output, plenty of sustain from Carnivore, a free recall every 5 minutes ( Teleport), and the ability to capitalize on the minion and level advantage. This is probably the best place for our friend from the void.

Bot Lane: Only pick this lane when you are playing as a pure tank. In this lane, it's very easy to stand in the bushes and launch CC at the enemy anytime they try and pester your AD carry. This lets your carry get fed with minions and with your damage output early game, get lots of kills and drive the enemy out of the lane.




Lanes Won and Lanes Countered


Cho'Gath is a very powerful anti-mage due to his durability allowing him to weather bursts and his silence/knock-up canceling abilities. Likewise, his extreme damage output allows him to put squishies in their place very quickly.

Cho'Gath is gonna win in this lane:
*


Cho'Gath is a mage, so CC is a problem for him early game. Likewise, just about all of his abilities are skill shot oriented, so champions with high mobility and thus the ability to dodge Rupture and quickly get out of range of Feral Scream are very difficult for Cho'Gath to lane against. Champions who can outrange Cho'Gath or have the capability of turning his high health pool against him also pose a problem.

Umm... Can I have lane swap please?:
** ** ** ** * **

* Vayne is easily taken care of if you can hit her consistently with your abilities and have the help of your lanemate. Otherwise, Silver Bolts will tear you apart.
**These champions are only really dangerous if they have somebody else like a carry helping them deal damage.


Guide Top

Boots

Boots are a staple in every single build in every single situation for every single game, however every single one of them has a bonus stat to them that give you a little extra. So, here's a list of some of the better boots to get and when to get them.

These work best when your main objective is to deal as much damage as possible. With these, anybody who hasn't invested in magic resistance or who hasn't built for it in the metagame will be taking true damage from your Rupture and Feral Scream.

Cooldown reduction is necessary for any mage. So if you want to increase the rate of your attacks instead of your power necessarily, get these. It also means your Feast will be up more, so more nuking power for you!!

The rework on this item makes it the perfect counter to AD carries of any kind. Get these when dealing with mostly AD champions or champions who rely on their basic attacks to deliver or deal damage.

These give cheap early game magic resistance, which makes them the perfect counter to AP champions of any sort. They also come with tenacity, so CC is much less likely to affect you as much. Get these when laning against an heavy AP team or a team who stacks a lot of CC.

These don't really give you anything super cool with them, but they are the most consistent source of quick movement speed available. Get these when speed is more of a priority than anything else.


Guide Top

Tanky DPS Cho'Gath Metagame

Runes
Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
1

Greater Quintessence of Armor
1

Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
1

I take Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to get lots of resistances as early in the game as possible and have them carry through at least the mid game. I take standard Greater Mark of Magic Penetration to increase my damage output. Lastly, I take one of each of the quintessences, Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, Greater Quintessence of Armor, and Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist to further carry over the benefits from my rune setup. The idea behind this setup is to give me plenty of resistances and durability in the early and mid game which frees up some of my gold in game to purchase offensive based items.




Masteries
Masteries
3/5
1/1
4/5
3/5
3/1
2/1
4/1
1/1
1/1
3/1
3/1
1/
1/5

Offensive Tree:
I take Brute Force and Butcher in the first tier of this tree. This is because for a significant part of the early game, the focus will be on last hitting minions, primarily with basic attacks. This is preferable to putting 4 points in Mental Force because the investment would ultimately translate into 4 points for Rupture, 3 points for Feral Scream, 1 point for Vorpal Spikes, and 3 points in Feast. I take more points in Brute Force than Butcher because they both help with killing minions, however only Brute Force will help with taking out champions also.


Defensive Tree:
Relatively straight forward, I take every damage reducing mastery while maxing out Hardiness and Resistance . I take Tough Skin and Bladed Armor to help take down minions while ignoring some of their damage, effectively canceling a significant portion of the damage I will take in the early laning phase. I prefer Enlightenment to Initiator because with any mage, cooldowns are something that have to be reduced as much as possible to ensure your damage output. Meanwhile, an extra 3% movement speed that you probably won't have when you need it (running away will probably mean you have less than 70% health) isn't significant enough to warrant the investment.

Utility Tree:
Both of my Summoner Spells fall under the utility tree, so one point in Summoner's Insight makes a difference.




Summoner Spells


This is for extra mobility and map control. As Cho'Gath, you will be a significant component of the team, therefore your presence will be sorely missed if you can't make it to a teamfight because you can't get there in time. This fixes that by letting you instantly arrive by transporting to a sight ward. It's also great to push down a tower to backdoor, or even defend one of your own towers.
space[/space]

I like Flash because while Ghost gives you more mobility over time, Flash gives much more mobility on a whim; equating to a lot of damage that isn't expected and thus, is rarely reciprocated. Seeing a giant dragon run toward you really fast will make you run, however seeing that same dragon slowly come toward you, attack your minions a few times, and then instantly apparate behind you and hit you with one ability that drops a 3rd of your health and follow with another ability that does over 800 points of true damage; that is something called Power.



Skill Sequence
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
I start the game with Rupture for long range pester and damage output, followed by a point in Feral Scream and a point in Vorpal Spikes at level 3.
After that, I alternate ranking up Rupture and Feral Scream through level 13; then I finish by maxing Vorpal Spikes
Advance Feast at 6, 11, and 16.
This skill up order is to keep a variety of attack options open to me while keeping my DPS and utility as high as possible.

I base my skill-ups around getting both utility and damage.
Obviously, the more you invest in Feral Scream, the more silence you get, meaning that you have more control over enemy mages, however maxing this first, means that you neglect the potential damage from Rupture. So from this angle, preferring one to the other means that you either give up damage for utility, or vice versa.
My next argument is that until you have a firm grasp on your mana pool, Rupture costs a lot of mana, which really limits your time in the lane last hitting and dealing damage. And even after using that mana, there's not a guarantee that your attack will land since an attentive opponent will get out of the way if you're not very conscientious about where you're aiming.
So, to sum up my arguments, ranking up Rupture is putting too many eggs in the same basket while ranking up Feral Scream leaves your damage output too much lacking.

Now let's look at a run-down of the potential scenarios for each rank up.
  • At rank 5 of Rupture, you deal 305 points of damage and at rank 1 of Feral Scream, you deal 75 points. So, in a one-two combo, you can dish out 380 points of damage at level 8.
    This equates to the highest damage output, with a 2 second silence.

  • Now if you max Feral Scream first, you deal 275 points at rank 5 and 80 points with Rupture, equating to a total of 355 points of damage at level 8. This is by far the lowest damage output, but effectively lets you shut down mages with a 3 second silence.

  • Finally, let's look at my build. With this setup, you have a rank 3 Rupture which deals 190 points of damage and a rank 3 Feral Scream which deals 175 points of damage, meaning that you deal a total of 365 points of damage. So, with this level up order, you deal 15 points less damage than if you were to level up Rupture first, while maintaining a 2.5 second silence, effectively eliminating any hope of magical reprisal for your attacks.


Guide Top

Viable Options to the Tanky DPS Cho'Gath Megame

Runes


Marks:
Greater Mark of Health or greater mark of vitality are always an option if you feel that you want a tankier Cho'Gath. I however tend to lean away from these just because the bonuses are too small to be measurable in the long run of the game; especially when measured with Feast.

Seals:
If you are having trouble in the early game with keeping up with your mana, get greater seal of replenishment. Now, if your main concern is not building up resistances, but health, than I would advice getting Greater Seal of Health or even greater seal of endurance.

Glyphs:
As a mage, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction are always nice. Likewise, if you want more early game power, Greater Glyph of Ability Power will give you plenty of it early game or Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power will help you out toward the mid and late game.

Quintessences:
I have 3 different quintessences, so a viable option is always to prefer one stat over the other and dedicate all 3 slots to it. Greater Quintessence of Health is also an option, however I don't like this one as much since health is very rarely a problem.



Summoner Spells

- This is an option if you prefer fighting close and staying there. This increases your attack speed and AP for a little while. But why is this good for Cho'Gath? Well, Vorpal Spikes relies on your attack speed and it scales from your AP; which means that this summoner spell has the potential of giving as much basic attack damage as a melee physical carry.


- This is one of my personal favorite summoner spells, however I feel that it is not as useful on Cho'Gath as it is for other champions. Because of how durable you are combined with how much damage you do, the reduction in the enemy's damage output isn't really needed. Likewise, because of the range on Rupture and its knock-up/slow effect, the slowing aspect to the spell isn't really as important either.


- This is a very good summoner spell, however I don't really like to use it because it is very reliant on what your opponents can do; which you won't know until you start the game. But, if you do get into the map and realize that you need CC reduction, there are Mercury's Treads or even Quicksilver Sash to deal with it.


- This is a great mobility summoner spell and I am not going to knock it because it is very good. However, as a personal preference, I prefer Flash. If you decide to take this instead, remove a mastery point from Brute Force and put it into Summoner's Wrath .




Skill Sequence


As mentioned in the above section, instead of alternating rank ups between Rupture and Feral Scream, you can favor one or the other to get more damage or utility.


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Items for Tanky DPS Cho'Gath

Early Game
catalyst the protector
I start the game with a Doran's Ring because it gives everything that Cho'Gath needs: early game health, AP, and mana regeneration all for a cheap price. From there, I take Boots of Speed to get my speed up a little bit. Next, I start working on catalyst the protector. This gives me the mana pool to let me freely use my abilities, health to make me one of the more durable champions on the map, and a passive that sustains me in the lane for as long as I need. Finally, I upgrade to Sorcerer's Shoes to increase my damage output and finally turn catalyst the protector into Rod of Ages for more health, mana, and AP.

Mid Game
I get a Negatron Cloak to build up some immunity to magic based damage. Next, I build a Deathfire Grasp. This is extremely useful and perhaps the most important item of this build. It gives AP, cooldown reduction, and a powerful active that, when used in conjunction with Feast, will bring all but the hardiest foes to their knees. To end this phase, I build Negatron Cloak into Abyssal Scepter to finish off my magic resistance and increase my damage output from AP and by lowering enemy magic resistance. Now, if the enemy team doesn't have any real heavy hitting magic users but a dangerous physical carry, replace Abyssal Scepter with Thornmail and instead of Negatron Cloak, get a Chain Vest.

Late Game
and
Considered the Infinity Edge for mages, this completes your damage potential and turns you from a threat into a priority. After that, pick up a Guardian Angel to give you resistances to everything and protect your Feast stacks after death.


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Other Items for Tanky DPS Cho'Gath

Magic resistance with a passive that saves you from Requiem or Soul Shackles.

This gives magic resistance with a nice movement speed boost for catching people.

This is the anti-physical item of choice.

Lots of armor and AP to synchronize with Rabadon's Deathcap. Combine this with your size and the active on it and people can stand under you in a teamfight and nobody can get hurt because now, nobody can target anybody.


Guide Top

The Pure Tank Cho'Gath Metagame

Runes
Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
1

Greater Quintessence of Armor
1

Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
1

I take pretty much the exact same runes as I do whenever I play Tanky DPS Cho'Gath with the exception of my quintessences, which are flat HP to keep me beefy during the early game. The other runes increase my resistances to physical and magic based attacks while my Marks, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, set up my damage output so that the other team wants to focus me instead of the carry.




Masteries
Masteries
3/5
1/1
4/5
3/5
3/1
2/1
4/1
1/1
1/1
3/1
3/1
1/
1/5

I take every damage reducing mastery I can along with AOE damage reduction. This will let me survive as long as I can in the middle of a teamfight and keep the rest of my team alive. I take my other points in the Utility tree to keep a steady mana pool up and ready for my spells. I take Expanded Mind over Good Hands because as a tank, you have to prioritize whether you are going to spend more time alive, or more time with low mana. For the most part, you should answer low mana. Therefore, I take my improvements here. A point in Summoner's Wrath for improved Ghost improves my investments.




Summoner Spells


This is for the extra map control and mobility. As the tank, teamfights are not something that you can just 'sit one out'. You have to be present, and this will let you instantly appear at a sight ward or turret that needs protecting.
space
On a tank, having a little bit of extra movement will let you get to those teamfights quickly, run the enemy team up and down the map while they try and whittle down your HP, and move fast enough to intercept dangerous abilities like Ace in the Hole or Bandage Toss.



Skill Sequence
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I take pretty much the same skill up order as a tank that I do for Tanky DPS for the same reasons (for a list of those reasons, scroll up to theTanky DPS Cho'Gath Metagame under the Skill Sequence section. The only difference is, that instead of using these skills to only deal a lot of damage, you are also using them to dissuade attacks during the laning phase, or disrupt enemies during teamfights.


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Viable Options for Tank Cho'Gath Metagame

Runes


Marks: Just as before, Greater Mark of Health or greater mark of vitality is an option for a healthier Cho'Gath during the early game, however I often find the quintessences to be enough.

Seals: If you want more lane sustainability than defense power, than I would look at greater seal of replenishment. Another good option for those who favor HP over armor is greater seal of endurance since it synchronizes so well with Feast.

Glyphs: I prefer defense for these on a tank Cho'Gath, however Greater Glyph of Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power will give your attacks a little bit more power. Likewise, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is also good if you want to constantly use your abilities.

Quintessences: Options for these are pretty straight forward with defense, taking either Greater Quintessence of Armor or Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist. The only other reason to change these would be if you replace your marks with something defensive, then and only then should you replace your quintessences with offense power.



Summoner Spells

-This is a good spell overall simply because of its utility. This spell is probably more viable for a tank than Tanky DPS because again, Tanky DPS can take on other champions; but a tank should use the utility to save your lanemate or even cripple the enemy carry in a teamfight.

- This is viable spell, however there are items in the game like Mercury's Treads or Quicksilver Sash that deal with CC, so this spell just isn't as useful as others available.

- I prefer Ghost on my tank Cho'Gath just because of the mobility. But this is a pretty personal preference, so if you would rather have Flash, then there isn't really any harm in it.




Skill Sequence


Instead of alternating rank ups between Rupture and Feral Scream, you can favor one or the other to get more damage or utility as needed.


Guide Top

Items for Pure Tank Cho'Gath

Notice: As a tank, the needs of the moment are going to be different for every game. So, the same items will not always be needed, and the same order will very rarely be used. I have provided suggestions that will give a pretty rounded off build, but variations will be necessary at some point.

Early Game
catalyst the protector

I start the game with a Ruby Crystal for plenty of early game tankiness when combined with the recommended rune and mastery setup. If you and your lanemate feel comfortable with it, wait at the fountain for a little longer until you spawn another 75 gold and then walk to lane with a sight ward to protect yourself from ganks from the enemy jungler (if they don't have a jungler, than it's ok to just go ahead and walk into lane). After that, I move on to buy Boots of Speed and catalyst the protector to further my tankiness and extend my mana pool for plenty of disruptions and abilities. After that, I will normally buy Mercury's Treads to counter magic and CC, however if your lane is AD heavy, than get a Ninja Tabi instead. After that, I get Rod of Ages to finish off my resources and get some power behind my attacks.

Mid Game

These next few items are to turn me into the monster that can not be killed. Abyssal Scepter gives me magic resistance and some AP for my own attacks as well an aura that helps out the rest of my AP teammates. Thornmail is the ultimate anti-AD item and one of my personal favorites in the game. Guardian Angel gives me plenty of resistances to both sources of damage as well as a passive that saves precious Feast stacks for health. What order you buy these items in is completely arbitrary and should depend on what team you are facing and what the main threat in the game is.

Late Game

Randuin's Omen is not seen very often anymore, but the active is very good and now it grants assists, making it better than ever. Combine this with the extra armor, health, and cooldown reduction and it's a very powerful item to give you and your team the edge. Banshee's Veil is also nice for its health, mana, magic resistance, and killer passive that prevents and lowers the effectiveness of CC and magic users in general.


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Optional Items for Cho'Gath

WHY DOES NOBODY USE THIS?!?!?! It's a Cleanse, it's magic resistance, and it's less than 1500 gold! If magic is giving you trouble, if CC is giving you trouble, get this item!

If your Feast isn't giving you enough health already, than this will.

If it ever comes to the point that you don't think you're going to die, than why not add some damage?

At some point, you are going to get big. So, there aren't many things more fun than walking into a teamfight, standing on all of your teammates, and activating Zhonya's. This prevents them from targeting them because it will try and target you instead, and they can't target you because you can no longer be targeted.


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Conclusion

Cho'Gath is a very powerful, under-played champion capable of massive damage and durability. So whether you're looking for a champion with damage, a champion who can take on the entire team, or just a champion who gets bigger than the turrets, Cho'Gath rocks.


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Change Log

4/22- Build published
4/24- Added champions to the Laning section